Community Partner J.E. Dunn Builds Camaraderie, a Playhouse, and More for JA

JE Dunn volunteer with group of elementary students in classroom.
Team of JE Dunn volunteers posing at JA Finance Park

Above: Employees of J.E. Dunn regularly volunteer in JA classrooms and at JA Finance Park, presented by Transamerica. Above photos taken prior to the pandemic.

Junior Achievement is fortunate to have the support of community partners, like J. E. Dunn Construction Company. The company donates 10% of pre-tax earnings to the 23 communities where they work, and employees are encouraged to volunteer throughout the workweek.

Senior Marketing Specialist Callie Morris leads the coordination of J.E. Dunn Rocky Mountain’s volunteer efforts, focusing primarily on education and workforce development.

“Junior Achievement fits in really well with that. We send out a call for volunteers and get all those spots filled up fairly quickly. Our employees are pretty well-oiled machines when it comes to volunteering and it’s something a lot of them are genuinely passionate about,” she says.

JE  Dunn construction team standing in front of the playhouse they created for Parade of Playhouses

Last year, a 13-member J.E. Dunn team put a total of 104 volunteer hours into building a playhouse for a new JA event called Parade of Playhouses. Parade of Playhouses features a variety of imaginative children’s playhouses created by professional local builders. The unique playhouses will be on display July 19 – August 7 at Stanley Marketplace. Parents can bring their children to view the houses for free, and they can purchase raffle tickets for a chance to win a playhouse.

Rather than hosting the popular JA Bowl-A-Thon events with companies this year, JA has been holding virtual Trivia Bowls this year due to COVID-19.

“With the Bowl-A-Thon, typically one or two teams would attend, but with virtual trivia, we were able to get everybody involved,” says Morris. “We made it a competitive Mardi Gras theme, which our teams really enjoyed and got into.”

The event raised approximately $11,000 for JA programs.

Morris and her co-workers have volunteered in local schools. The J.E. Dunn crew also loves JA Finance Park, presented by Transamerica, a Harvard University-recognized simulation giving middle and high school students the opportunity to be an adult for the day, sharpening personal budgeting and finance skills.

“It’s the best reality check for them as far as what they can expect after leaving high school and being on their own. I think it also gives them more of an appreciation for their parents,” she says.

Mike Tilbury, vice president at J.E. Dunn, has volunteered with JA since 2004. In 2017, he joined the JA Board of Directors.

“Giving back to the community is something that J.E. Dunn, my family, and I believe in. We feel pretty blessed to be part of the fabric of the communities that we live and work in. I have such a passion for Junior Achievement because of the emphasis on entrepreneurship, financial literacy, and business basics,” Tilbury says.

He says his organization aims to make volunteering fun and give everyone an opportunity to join because J.E. Dunn’s values encourage community engagement to contribute to the greater good.

“It’s a family- and employee-owned organization. We truly believe in our guiding principles. It’s not just a tagline hanging on a wall, but it’s embedded in who we are and the types of people that we attract to be part of our organization,” he says.

Tilbury says there are advantages to having workers engage together outside of their usual work environments.

“It’s a win-win because it’s rewarding, and at the same time, it’s a great opportunity for some camaraderie within your staff,” he says.